Debt-Free Bucket List

I’ve seen a few posts last year about people making debt free bucket list.  Until I read those posts, I never really thought about what I’d do once I’m debt free.  I mean I was going to save more for my retirement, eat out more without crunching numbers too much, and go shopping more or something.  But I didn’t have any specific things that I was waiting until I’m debt free or that the debt freeness(?) would allow me to do.  I know I have quite a debt to pay off still, but I wanted to join in on the fun of imagining my life after debt and what it would afford me to experience.  My definition of debt freedom in this scenario is no other debt except mortgage and I’m assuming that I saved 20% for a down payment to have bought a house already.

1. I want to celebrate my debt freedom in style by going on a trip and of course, that trip has to be paid in cash.  So there would a several month gap between the final payment and the actual trip to save the money and make plans, but that’s fine by me.  Although it would be fun to go on a long trip, both my hubby and I have to work, so I’ll settle with a 2 week trip.  Who knows where we will end up, but I’m thinking of a few options.  I’m thinking of a north east trip with a few cities in Canada since it’s a neighboring country that I didn’t explore other than Niagara Falls.  I want to visit Quebec city, Montreal, Prince Edward Island (tribute to Anne of Green Gables) and stop by Maine for some lobsters.  Another option is to visit Italy and Greece.  I want to visit Tuscany, Naples, Athens, and Santorini.  Third option I’d include here would be to do a Napa valley wine tour and also visit San Francisco.  Just thinking about these trips makes me excited.

2. Less exciting thing is to make sure each of us is putting 15% toward our retirement and paying extra payments to our mortgage, so that we won’t have mortgage for 30 years.

3. I want to take my brother to visit South Korea.  Since our family moved to the states, he hasn’t visited Korea, not once.  He tried when he was in the Navy to go there with my mom and I.  But his boss or boss’s boss didn’t send a request to the Pentagon, so he couldn’t go with us.  I guess he could’ve just went, but he didn’t want to take the chance of going there without an approval and something happen.  He’s the one who bought flight tickets for us, but he couldn’t go.  So I want to take him there to see our extended family and go to different regions and try all kinds of yummy food.  I want to make sure I take him to Jeju island as well.

4. Buy our cars with cash.  Other than the first car I had when I was 16 that was a complete mess, all my other cars have been financed to the max for 5 years.  Once we become debt free, we’ll be able to save money quickly to buy a car with cash.  The thousands we’re throwing away now for car payments, tuitions, and student loan payments will be our money to keep, so we can save that to buy a car in cash.  I awesome it would feel to negotiate the deal with such confidence and walk out with a car still debt free.

5. Churn credit cards to travel cheaper.  I know many PF bloggers are already doing this and some still have debt.  I’m just not comfortable doing this while in debt.  But once I’m debt free, I want to study this and participate in it myself to earn rewards and travel cheaper with those reward points.  I want to make sure I fly first class.  I so want to fly in first class and have some leg room, eat caviar, and drink champagne.

6. I want to go back to school.  Not that I like school, but I want to get my Master’s degree.  While I was doing my Bachelor’s, that was always my goal.  But after taking forever to graduate taking part time course, I just got sick of doing it anymore.  But I think I got enough rest just working 40 hours without anything else.  By the time we’re debt free, my hubby will already have his MBA so I want to save money to go to school and cash flow the whole thing.

7. I want to sponsor more children.  I mentioned about Compassion International early last year.  My hubby and I have been sponsoring a child each through this organization since we first started dating.  I want to sponsor another child together on our 5th wedding anniversary.  But this is going to happen regardless whether we’re debt free or not.  But once we’re debt free, we want to sponsor another child.  Our desire to be debt free was not to just get more stuff for ourselves, but to be able to give more.  I do have another task before I do this though.  I need to be better at writing to my child more often.  I write to my girl, Andrea, once every quarter or so.  But I need to step it up and write once a month.  It takes longer to get there anyway with translation and processing.

8. Get laser treatment for my acne scars.  I’ve mentioned about my crazy acne problem and it’s messy scars that’s still on my face.  It’s way too expensive for me to get laser treatments to remove scars and even my tone.  And I have to make sure I go to a reputable doctor with great track record with Asian skin.  Once I’m debt free, I’m going to indulge in a series of laser treatments to fade my acne scars.  As much as I try to accept my skin type, I hate looking at red and dark patches all over my face.  This makes me want to cake on more make up to hide it.  Hopefully, when I do get this treatment, I’ll have clearer and more even skin tone.

9. Get a personal trainer.  You know I hate going to the gym.  I already feel like I’m wasting my money on monthly gym membership.  But once I’m debt free, I want to invest in a personal training session to get a good routine set up for me.  I don’t know exactly how many sessions will be sufficient, but I’m going to sign up for it and make myself go and learn what to do on my own.  I think I need a major push to get in the habit of exercising.  I’m not saying I’m going to wait until then to start exercising, but I always wanted a personal training session, so I’ll finally get it when I’m debt free.

10. Save my entire paychecks and only use hubby’s pay checks for all expenses and bills.  Once we’re debt free, we’ll be able to live just on our hubby’s pay checks and all my pay checks can be saved to do all the stuff I listed above.  That would be really cool to have that much buffer.  I don’t make much money, but it’s good to be able to save for a rainy day or indulge in wants time to time.

11.  Maintain 6 months of emergency fund.  I know some people think this is a waste and money that can be used to earn more money.  But I need peace of mind.  I want to set aside money that we can easily access if something were to happen.  Of course the 6 month only counts all the important bills like mortgage and utilities, but not personal trainer fee.

In general, I want to travel more once we’re debt free.  But we’ll still have bills to pay and money to buy food and other items.  It’s not like we’ll have unlimited money to spend on.  So we will continue to have a budget and stay frugal.  We’ll just have freed up money from debt payment to build wealth and enjoy life more.  Writing this forced me to imagine my life after debt and it just put me into a happy place.  Even though it’s raining outside (actually it just turned to snow when I looked out the window), my mind and heart is in a warm and cozy place~

What’s on your debt free bucket list?

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7 thoughts on “Debt-Free Bucket List

  1. Aww, some of your goals are so incredibly kind, like taking your brother to South Korea and sponsoring another child!! I’d have to agree with a lot of your goals, especially laser treatments for nicer skin and traveling. I’d also like to be able to bank 50% of our income over time (and not just for a down payment, but for you retirement and/ or hopefully future kids’ college funds). I love your list, Michelle!

    • I have big ticket items on the list, so after being debt free, it’ll take a while for all these to be crossed off the list. But I want eventually to save 50% of our income too. My pay check is not 50%, so the savings will need to be increased.
      Skin care is something I really want. I’m not even asking for perfect skin. I just want the foundation and concealer to be able to cover up the flaws. Right now, they help a little, but don’t cover. One day…

  2. This is a really good idea! I think maybe if I had come up with a similar list of goals to achieve once I hit debt free it might not have been so easy to go back into it. Something I will definitely give some thought to. Very nice of you to think of your brother and others less fortunate as well as having some fun with your money 🙂

  3. Pingback: There May Be a Sandy Beach in My Future | Morgaine and Money

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